Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

"Big Four" become one in Madrid; Serena and Sharapova heading for showdown

updated 7:47 PM EDT, Fri May 10, 2013
Rafael Nadal celebrates after seeing off compatriot David Ferrer in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Masters.
Rafael Nadal celebrates after seeing off compatriot David Ferrer in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Masters.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rafael Nadal taken to three sets by David Ferrer in Madrid Masters
  • Bidding for third title on the clay in Spanish capital
  • Third seed Andy Murray beaten by Tomas Berdych
  • Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova into last four of women's event

(CNN) -- Rafael Nadal remained the only one of the "Big Four" still standing Friday after third seed Andy Murray joined Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in exiting the Madrid Masters.

Nadal dropped the opening set to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer and trailed 4-2 in the second before mounting a typical comeback to reach the semifinals.

But Murray, playing in the night session, was beaten 7-6 6-4 by Czech Tomas Berdych.

Murray, who will still take over as No.2 from Federer in the new rankings, was a break up in the first set but could not press home his advantage and a single break for the big-hitting Berdych in the second was enough to see him through.

In the women's WTA event in the Spanish capital, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova remained on course for a final showdown as both reached the last four, but by contrasting routes.

No.1 Williams was given an almighty scare by wildcard Anabel Medina Garrigues before winning 6-3 0-6 7-5.

Tennis Tips: Recovery footwork
On the court with 'Baby Federer'

The American superstar had not dropped a set all tournament until being blanked in the second set, only the seventh time in her career she had suffered such a fate.

"I wasn't really there, my feet weren't moving -- I don't know what happened," she told the official WTA website.

Read: Djokovic dumped in Madrid by Dimitrov

"To turn it around I got up earlier on the changeover and started doing high knees and just stretching and doing anything to try to get my intensity back up to where it needed to be."

She will face Italian Sara Errani in the semifinals Saturday while Sharapova reached that stage with a 6-2 6-4 cruise against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi.

Sharapova will leapfrog Williams to No.1 if she can go one round further or beat her in the final should both reach it.

"I was just really determined today, and I'm happy I was able to win with that type of scoreline," the Russian said after her passage to the semifinals where she will play former No.1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia.

Nadal later emerged on Center Court for a battle royale with Ferrer, who dominated the early sparring.

He took the opening set 6-4 in 51 minutes and was a break up in the second before the former No.1 hit back by taking the next three games.

Read: Federer exits to Japan's Nishikori

Women's tennis top stars talk personal
The story behind Sharapova's success

Mallorcan Nadal served for the set at 5-4 but was broken by Ferrer as the match went to a crucial tiebreak.

It was comfortably won by Nadal who swept through the decider for a 4-6 7-6 6-0 win, his 18th in 22 clashes with Ferrer.

Nadal is looking to reach his seventh straight final since returning to the ATP Tour after injury in February and his beaten opponent knows only too well his abilities.

"Rafa is always the favorite on clay," he told the official ATP website. "Without any doubt he's the best and he's really fit right now."

Nadal will play Pablo Andujar for a place in the final after his fellow Spaniard ended the run of Federer's conqueror Kei Nishikori of Japan in straight sets 6-3 7-5 later Friday.

Berdych, bidding for a second straight Madrid final, will take on Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who put out seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in a three-set late night thriller.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT